For the first time since we started participating in #IMWAYR, we missed it. Boo. To be fair, we didn't technically miss it. Kristi wrote a post and thought she published it but the spinning wheel of death had other ideas, so no post was actually published. Argh. So frustrating (for her, mainly. She did all of the work. I am merely the reporter).
As fate would have it however, that night I came across a Facebook post written by a wonderful and talented kindergarten teacher that we know listing her top picks for books about Remembrance Day. The conversation at that point went a little something like this:
Me: Wow, these are great! Want to do a guest blog post this week?
Her: Um, not so much, no.
Me: Oh. Well, can I steal your ideas then?
So now we have a blog post. Yay! And all of the credit goes to the fabulous, somewhat anonymous kindergarten teacher who let me use her ideas. Thanks, lady. Much appreciated. These books are wonderful ways to introduce the bigger meaning behind Remembrance Day.
Remembrance Day can be a hard one for kids. The events that led to its creation happened so long ago that even their grandparents likely have difficulty remembering them. Without military personnel in the family (or direct experience with war, as some refugee students may have), even the concept of war seems distant and nebulous. Yet, we ask our students for their quietest, solemnest behaviour. We ask them to wear poppies and make wreaths and listen to speeches that honour an event that happened a very long time ago. We ask them to behave in ways that we rarely ask our students to behave, understanding that it will be difficult for them but knowing that it matters. It matters because in many places around the world the bigger meaning behind Remembrance Day still hangs in the balance and that is what we need our students to understand, that is what we need them to remember. So share these books, these words, with them. Use these books to spark discussions that lead to a bigger understanding, to help them understand how important the message of Remembrance Day is. Share with them the importance of remembering.
Lest We Forget.
A Bear in War - Stephanie Innes & Harry Endrulat. A beautiful story that explores what happens in families separated by war, it is based on the letters, the teddy and other war memorabilia found by the granddaughter of Lawrence Browning Rogers, a Canadian soldier who fought in the First World War. This one is guaranteed to make you cry.
A Poppy is to Remember - Heather Patterson. This book explains the symbolism behind the poppy and is beautifully illustrated by Ron Lightburn. Another Canadian book, it also includes information about Canada's military endeavours and the poem, In Flander's Fields. A great one to help explain why we wear a poppy on Remembrance Day.
What does Peace feel like? - Vladimir Radunsky. This book brings the concept of peace to life by exploring what children think peace looks like, tastes like, smells like, feels like. Great for making connections and as a jumping off point for writing, the responses given by kids range from simple to quite deep and complex. Also fascinating is the list of ways to say peace in well over 100 languages, allowing you to explore the idea of global peace and what that might mean and look like.
Proud as a Peacock, Brave as a Lion - Jane Barclay. Another beautiful story, this one explores the idea of war in a way that is at once fun and realistic for young kids. Most kids will learn about war by asking questions of those older than them, particularly grandparents and great-grandparents, so this story, of a young boy asking his grandfather questions about the war, will resonate with them. At the same time, the imagery that the grandfather uses to describe his feelings about the war come to life in the imagination of the young boy (and the illustrations in the book).
Thank you to my ghost writer on this one - your contributions are much appreciated! I'll get you guest blogging soon enough!
I'm Bryn, teacher, mom, book lover, athlete. I am passionate about literacy, collaborative teaching and finding new and innovative ways to engage & motivate all kids. I hope you find something that speaks to you here on my blog and would love to hear from you too!